Author Archives: lityoungstown

Interview with James Winter


After the November First Wednesday Reading featuring James Winter, intern Cassandra Lawton interviewed him about his writing process and tips for writers.

Watch the reading here.

What is your writing process like?

I find with my fiction, which tends toward the historical, I read and research pretty thoroughly before I start a draft. For example, my story “Beyond Love” tells of the horrors a terrorist bomber suffers while detained in a Jordanian prison and eventually, Guantanamo Bay. As a basis of research, I studied Guantanamo: An American History by Johnathan Hansen, Guantanamo Diary by Mohamedu Ould Slahi, My Guantanamo Diary by Mahvish Khan, Inside the Wire by Erik Saar, and others, but most importantly, peer-reviewed, psychological analyses of Islamic terrorists that showed that many are educated, financially stable family men radicalized in the wake of personal, domestic failures. I found this fascinating when writing “Inheritance,” a story about IRA terrorists. Their characterization by historian Tim Pat Coogan as well as undercover interviews in SPIN magazine and scholarly journals like the UK’s Studies in Conflict & Terrorism depict most of “The Lads” as having barely graduated high school. They are part of a legacy, and instead of keeping activities secret from their spouses, many IRA wives know the organization in detail and provide emotional, and at times physical aid.

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Teen Writers Workshop December 14 (Zoom)

Teen Writers Workshops (Zoom)
2nd Mondays 7-8:30: December 14

Teen Writers Workshop facilitated by Carrie George is an informal, respectful gathering for writing and creative expression. All experience levels welcome. Teens only, please. Register one time here for the Zoom meeting room, attend any number of workshops.

Meet the teaching artist: Carrie George is a poet, photographer, and MFA candidate at the Northeast Ohio MFA program. She is the current graduate fellow for the Wick Poetry Center, where she teaches poetry in local schools and various community programs.

First Wednesday Rescheduled (Zoom & Facebook Live)

Join us for a First Wednesday Series reading by Cleveland poet and journalist Lee Chilcote and Kent poet and creative nonfiction writer David Hassler. Wednesday, January 13 at 7:00 PM EST. Open mic to follow. Co-hosted by Christopher Minton. Register here for the Zoom room, or watch live on Lit Youngstown’s Facebook page.

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Building Upon Your Natural Writing Style Workshop

Building Upon Your Natural Writing Style

**This workshop is now full. If you register, we will add your name to a waiting list. Thank you!**

Whether you write prose or poetry, you have your own natural skill set – it may be for storytelling, or for writing a lyrical line, or perhaps you have a gift for generating strong images. This workshop is designed to explore and develop ways to stretch and build upon what comes naturally to you and to find new ways to complement your own writing style. Generative prompts and exercises will encourage you to experiment and share your writing in a relaxed and supportive way.

Building Upon Your Natural Writing Style. Mondays, January 11-February 8, 1-3 PM EST, on Zoom. Course fee is $25 (scholarships are available). Register here by January 8.

Meet the Teaching Artist: Marion Boyer is a poet and essayist with four published poetry collections; her most recent book is The Sea Was Never Far. Boyer is an emeritus professor and has conducted poetry workshops for Lit Youngstown’s Winter Writing Camp, Wisconsin’s Washington Island Writers Festival, Lit Cleveland, and the Kalamazoo Poetry Festival.

New Writers Circle Opens!

We’re trying out a new format for the Writers Circle. We sure do miss meeting with a few dozen of you around a cluster of tables to talk and share ideas. We’ve tried a few online formats, to limited success, so let’s try something completely different.

Sign in here with your google account (simple to open one). Post poems, short fiction, long fiction, creative nonfiction, essays, plays or screenplays. Give and receive gentle, constructive feedback. Open year-round. Many thanks to board member Josh Nauman for building the page. Questions? Check out the FAQ, or let us know.